Sparky needs his own statue - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Sparky needs his own statue

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Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2003 2:42 am | Updated: 2:00 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Have you noticed we are in a statue erecting craze?

I don't know the reason, I'll leave it to the social scientists to explain what it says about the country.

But it seems every few weeks someone is announcing plans for a statue.

Of course, East Valley residents are right in line with this current fad.

Those life-like statues of everyday people that lined Main Street in downtown Mesa were a huge success for the city, drawing people from all parts of the Valley.

But those were temporary statues.

The nation is paying tribute to the real and imagined with statues as never been done before.

Scottsdale, of course, is planning to erect one to honor popular mayor Herb Drinkwater.

Luis Gonzalez's restaurant in downtown Gilbert has statues of children playing baseball.

It seems you can't build a ballpark without an accompanying statue.

Nolan Ryan is going up at Arlington, Texas. Warren Spahn will join Henry Aaron in Atlanta.

The cable TV network TV Land caused a mild stir when it announced this year it was erecting of statue of Mayberry, N.C. sheriff Andy Taylor in Raleigh, N.C., to honor the long-running popular "Andy Griffith Show."

The little town of Mount Airy, N.C., on which the TV program was based, now wants to do the same thing.

Statues are usually generic, but they can stir raw emotions.

Just witness the hate-filled venom that spewed from the 19th century-minded southerners who bitterly opposed a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Richmond, Va. the capital of the Confederacy.

Saner heads prevailed and Lincoln, called the biggest "mass murder in the history of the United States" by his detractors, sits with his son, Tad, not far from a majestic statute of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Yes, statues can be oh so meaningful.

Which is why Arizona State needs to join this trend and erect a statue of Sparky Sun Devil.

And that statue should be placed in front of the Memorial Union, instead of the athletic department facilities.

With ASU being a commuter school, not the traditional residential campus, a statue at the union would have more impact. Thousands of students couldn't care less about athletics, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't develop more pride in being Sun Devils.

Passing that statue every day would be a subtle reminder they're not just Arizona State students, but they're Sun Devils as well.

Some folks believe there's a difference, one is brain, the other brawn.

But great institutions and their students know it's one in the same.

California, the top public school in the country, has Golden Bear statues all around the campus. The newest is a 10-foot high menacing bear standing on its hind legs growling at Memorial Stadium.

Of course, everyone is familiar with the Tommy Trojan statue in the middle of the USC campus.

Washington State has cougars, large and small, throughout the campus, including one large statue at Cougar Plaza in downtown Pullman, before you even get to the campus.

Washington has a Husky statue standing sentinel in front of Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

When the Devils visit North Carolina, they'll see a statue of "the world's largest ram" in front of the football complex.

Iowa has a Hawkeye statue.

Mascot statues are proliferating everywhere.

ASU would do well do join this trend.

A graduating class could pay for it, or a wealthy alumnus, or perhaps a celebrated football team could raise funds in a gesture of giving back to the school.

The Sun Devil statue would be just another expression of love of school.

Another way of developing school spirit.

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